“It started sometime in the 1960s, when the local council started talking about providing the local citizens with cultural experiences to boost wellness and creativity,” says Erja Back, project manager at Visit Umeå. “Since then, there’s been a conscious investment in culture locally: we’ve got one of the world’s northernmost opera houses, plenty of museums with free admission, and generally speaking a really strong cultural offering.” Known today as a vibrant culture hub, Umeå boasts one of the best schools in the world for industrial design, Umeå Institute of Design, along with what is according to The Telegraph one of the world’s most incredible museums.

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